The Detroit Pistons fired coach Michael Curry today after only one year. Last season, the Pistons went 39-43 and were swept in the postseason by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Detroit’s team president for basketball operations, Joe Dumars, said that Curry would return, but then changed his mind.
“This was a difficult decision to make. I want to thank Michael for his hard work and dedication to the organization,” said Dumars. “However, at this time, I have decided to make a change.”
Kevin Grigg, Detroit’s spokesman, said that the agenda for a new coach is up in the air. “Obviously with the free agency period starting tomorrow (Wednesday), we don’t know quite the speed of it,” said Grigg.
Ex-Piston Bill Laimbeer stepped down from coaching the WNBA’s Detroit Shock, saying that he wanted a shot at coaching in the NBA.
Last season, the Pistons traded Chauncey Billups to Denver for Allen Iverson, hoping they would have a shot at the NBA Finals. Instead, they self-destructed, winning only three games in February, and another three in April. The Pistons dropped to the final spot in the Eastern Conference playoff seeding, where they later got swept by the Cavs.
“It was an up-and-down season for him,” said Dumars about Curry last season. “And, an up-and down-season for us. … The fact that we made so many changes for a first-year coach, I had to step back and be a little more patient than I have been. … I tried to put myself in his shoes.”
“It’s part of the job,” Curry said. “When you lose, it’s the coach’s fault. When you win, the players get the praise.”
Last week, Dumars started to rebuild Detroit’s roster by adding Austin Daye, DaJuan Summers, and Jonas Jerebko in last week’s draft. They also released Rasheed Wallace and Antonio McDyess.
For one season, Curry was assistant under Flip Saunders for the Pistons, and when Saunders was fired by Dumars, Curry became head coach.
Curry played for the Pistons in 1995-1997 and 1999-2003. He also played for Philadelphia from 1993-1994, and then with the Indiana Pacers from 2004-2005. Curry averaged 4.5 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 20 minutes per game during his whole career. Despite averaging less than 7 points a season, his defense and leadership skills kept him in the league.
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